Starter Guide

Welcome to Holiday Cottage Mortgages (HCM), a unique platform specialising in the arrangement of holiday let finance.

This guide is designed to help new users to the system understand their way around, showing how the website works and how to get the most out of it, based on your own personal circumstances.

How to use our site

To help you get the most of out of our platform, we have highlighted several common situations below, and what actions are most appropriate for each. Take a look and see which one best fits your personal circumstances.

“I’m still deciding if holiday letting is right for me”

Holiday letting can be a lucrative enterprise but is not necessarily for everyone. Why not access our Help & Advice centre and read some of the articles that we have written to help you decide:

Couple reading in the grass
Row of green house plants

“I'm buying a holiday let property and will need a mortgage”

Situation 1: I am still searching for the right property:

Our recommended actions are:

  • Click to play with our holiday let affordability calculator and use the sliders to find out how much you might be able to borrow.
  • Create an account and complete the first section called “Get started” which goes through some key screening questions and offers the chance to request an Initial Assessment from an Expert Advisor.

Situation 2: I have found the perfect cottage and I am now wanting to make an offer:

Exciting news! Our recommended actions are:

  • If you have not done so already, create an account and complete the first “Get started” section and complete the Initial Assessment to see what you might be able to borrow, based on your circumstances.
  • Once passed, complete the journey up to and including the “My property” section in readiness for your offer being accepted.

Situation 3: I have had my offer accepted and now need a mortgage ASAP!

Time to move quickly. Our recommended actions in this scenario are:

  • Complete the “My mortgage” section and proceed to request Expert Advice and get your application under way!

“I already own a holiday let and want a mortgage / re-mortgage”

Situation 4: I’m thinking of getting a new mortgage or a remortgage on my existing holiday home:

Our recommended actions are:

  • Get an idea of how much you might be able to borrow by using our interactive holiday let affordability calculator. If that looks good, then proceed to the next stage below.
  • Create an account and complete the first section called “Get started” to undertake an Initial Assessment to see what you can borrow based on your circumstances.
  • Once passed, complete the journey all the way to the start of the “My mortgage” section in readiness for the next step.

Situation 5: I want to proceed and get a mortgage/remortgage on my existing holiday let:

We hear you. In this situation, we recommend:

  • Continue the journey until you get to Expert Advice and request a call to get your application underway!
Teddy bear inside a suitcase

How it works

The journey begins when you create an account with us, validate your email address and then land on our Welcome page, as follows:

Holiday Cottage Mortgages welcome page

From here, you can start a new mortgage application, or review/edit an existing one. Once you begin or resume a mortgage application you move to the main dashboard screen, where you can see your journey bar to the left, and the associated steps to complete on the right:

Holiday Cottage Mortgages getting started


Get started & initial assessment

It would be annoying to be told you don’t qualify for the main lending criteria right at the end of the process, so we have brought these important questions right to the front. After entering some basic contact preferences, including whether or not you would like to have application status updates sent to your mobile by SMS, you will be asked various questions about your residency and credit history and we will run by you several of the lenders main lending criteria.

Then you reach the important Inital Assessment section, were you have the opportunity to answer a few more key questions about your application and then request that an Expert Advisor review your situation to give you a real world view on the likely viability of your holiday let mortgage application. We recommend that all new customers request this assessment, as it only takes a few minutes and it can save you a lot of time!

My situation

This is the main “hard fact find” section, as it’s known in the industry. Here we ask about your personal details, employment, income, assets, liabilities and expenditure, to get a complete personal and financial picture of each applicant to the mortgage. Make sure you have read the Information Checklist before starting this section and have all the information and documents ready to hand!

My property

Here you can tell us all about the property to be mortgaged, whether that be a new purchase or an existing home. We cover details such as its value, construction and rather importantly, its holiday letting history and potential.

My mortgage

In this section, we ask you various questions to determine your mortgage requirements and preferences, a process known as the “soft fact find”, such as interest only or a fixed rate, and then cross check those choices against your future plans to make sure the mortgage we recommend will suit your needs.

We then ask you some questions about your solicitor, insurance and survey needs.

We finish this section by inviting you to request Expert Advice, from a holiday let mortgage advisor. This is a relaxed call, which is arranged between you and your advisor at a mutually convenient time, where your advisor will talk you through the recommended mortgage choice and discuss the associated research that led to that recommendation.

Once you are satisfied with the mortgage choice, your advisor will then generate various key documents relating to that mortgage and invite you to log back in and proceed to the next stage.

My application

Following the Expert Advice above, the first job is to read each of the key mortgage documents your advisor has uploaded for you and tick to confirm your agreement and understanding of each one.

The section is then finished with you in the document verification upload centre, where you have to upload PDFs of various supporting documents, like Passport, Driving License, Council Tax Bill, P60, etc, into the system to support your application.

When finished, you are invited to provide your final consent to proceed with a formal application to the lender, which will normally include the lender performing a “hard” credit check on you and the other applicants. Once the permission is given you move to the final section.

Application status

All your hard work is now done! Here you can see a series of icons that represent each stage in the formal application process, as follows:

  • Pre-submission review
  • Decision in principle
  • Application submitted
  • Lender consultation
  • Mortgage offer issued
  • Mortgage completed
Outside of a cozy home

As your advisor works through these sections, each time a new step is completed, you will get an email notification, and, if you have registered your mobile for SMS, a text message, to tell you that your application has progressed to the next stage.

If you were referred to us by one of our partnered holiday letting agencies, then in accordance with our Privacy Policy, your agent will also be notified of each step, so they can keep in touch with you and make suitable preparations for your property launch, saving time and potentially earning you more bookings that would otherwise be lost. If you would rather they didn’t get the notifications, you can always email your advisor and we will remove this link.